Online discussion: moving the economic goalposts of Irish agriculture, April 28

This event explored the potential effects on agriculture in Ireland of a series of reforms in the broader economy, including the introduction of a Universal Basic Income and a strengthened social wage (that would include improved social housing provision), the adoption of a Site Value Tax, stakeholder banking and debt restructuring. We gathered learnings from the event to incorporate into a follow-on presentation which Caroline Whyte gave on May 18th, based on a new paper.

Panellists at this event included:

Dr. Oliver Moore, the communications director and editor-in-chief with ARC2020. ARC, the Agricultural and Rural Convention, is a network of agricultural and rural actors working together for good food, good farming and better rural policies in the EU.

Charles Stanley Smith: Charles is one of two Environmental Pillar representatives on the Common Agricultural Policy’s Consultative Committee, and a member of An Taisce and Feasta.

Kieran Harrahill, a researcher on the rural economy, particularly the bioeconomy-society interface in Ireland. He will be joining TASC, the Think Tank for Action on Social Change, later this year to work on climate justice.

John Baker, Emeritus Professor in Equality Studies at University College Dublin, and David Quinn, a Social Democrats Councillor in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council. Both of them are active members of Basic Income Ireland. (John made some initial comments on the paper and David joined in on the q and a afterwards.)

Colette Bennett, an economic and social analyst at Social Justice Ireland, and a member of the steering group of the Wellbeing Economy Hub for Ireland.

Paul Goldrick-Kelly, an economist at the Nevin Economic Research Institute, His current research interests relate to ecological sustainability and political economy, incorporating issues related to Just Transition.

Aoife Murphy, an intern at the Nevin Economic Research Institute and the author of the recent paper “Risk issues within the Agricultural sector on the island of Ireland”.

Gary Digney, Restructuring Recovery Director at PKF-FPM Accountancy and a Chartered Accountant, licensed Insolvency and Personal Insolvency Practitioner. He advises farmers who are encountering difficulties in repaying farm-business-related debt and are facing the potential loss of their farmland.

Bridget Murphy, a land and human rights lawyer turned farmer, based in Sligo, who is the project manager of the agroecological farming organisation Talamh Beo’s Soil Biodiversity Literacy and Enhancement Environmental Innovation Project. Her focus includes differing forms of land use, tenure and management, and the role of women in farming.

A final reflection was given by Iva Pocock, a media and communication professional.

Note: Feasta is a forum for exchanging ideas. By posting on its site Feasta agrees that the ideas expressed by authors are worthy of consideration. However, there is no one ‘Feasta line’. The views of the article do not necessarily represent the views of all Feasta members.